It's that time of year again. TripAdvisor, which specializes in travel information and reviews by consumers has announced the winners of its 2009 Travelers' Choice Awards.
The Newton-based website honored hotels from around the world in the following categories: Best Bargains, Best for Families, Best Hidden Gems, Best Inns & B&Bs, Best for Romance, Best Luxury, Best Service, Best All-Inclusive and Best Brands. The decidedly unscientific but nevertheless fun rankings are based on "the millions of real and unbiased reviews and opinions about hotels on tripadvisor.com and content from across the Web.'' Read: opinions and ratings from its users -- an anonymous self-selected group (albeit one that frequently exhibits a well honed sense of humor).
The only New England hotel to make any of the lists was the SeaCoast Inn in Hyannis, named Best Bargain Hotel in the US (No. 3 in the world), Best Hidden Gem and Best for Service in the US.
Kudos are obviously in order.
Now to the dark side: TripAdvisor also put out its list of the top 10 filthiest US hotels, based on traveler cleanliness ratings. Likewise, only one New England establishment made the list: Coming in at No. 7 was Travelodge Bangor in Bangor, Maine.
Here are some of the not-so-nice things travelers had to say:
"We were first given room 115 -- the only thing keeping the ceiling up in the bathroom was the green and black mold!!!!'' ... "I have stayed in many hotels in my life, once in one that charges by the hour, and I think there was less DNA in that one.''... "If you are reading the previous reviews thinking 'it cant be that bad' - it is.''
Again, to be fair, let me remind you that the TripAdvisor lists are based on user ratings and reviews so should not be considered definitive by any means. Still, the yuck quotient here seems pretty high.